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Herbs

August 13, 2017

Marjoram is such a gorgeous well-behaved herb and especially good for late summer flowers…

And in early Autumn it can be divided up to make more plants by gently easing the rooted base apart into smaller segments. Pot these on into 9 cm pots and next Spring you can spread the joy. Last year I made six plants from one established clump.

Culinary sage Salvia officinalis  is more of a shrub and is less well behaved. Several years ago I made cuttings from an old plant by gently tearing a heel from several side shoots. These were dipped in hormone rooting powder then put round the edge of a flower-pot. The following Spring the young rooted plants were dotted round the parterre nearest the house.

Sage requires a hard prune three times a year to keep it compact and it was difficult to climb in amongst other plants to cut it back regularly. As a result the small plants grew sprawling and leggy and since it should be replaced every four years several have now been removed. Here it is taking up too much room around the box balls …

But lifted out it leaves plenty of room to plant the area with something interesting for late summer flowers. I plan to sow more fennel in the greenhouse over Winter which could look good in this bed but might be too tall. Or I could buy a large pot of Astrantia major…

and divide it up to plant with Stipa arundinacea the leaves of which turn a lovely orange-russet in Autumn  This has self-seeded round the garden since the first time I planted it ten years ago and it appears in the most inappropriate places like outside the garden shed door…

Several allotment beetroot were hiding under the courgette leaves and had grown really huge…

They were easy to peel and chopped into small chunks they were then roasted with un-peeled garlic cloves for 45 minutes in olive oil. When cool Feta cheese was crumbled into the dish and the soft garlic squeezed out and basil leaves added.

The sunflower ‘Velvet Queen’ is blooming on the allotment and makes a great cut flower especially with red dahlias. They had a vase life of five days…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2017 10:19 am

    The beetroot sound delicious, thanks for the recipe idea. What do you do with any of the large courgettes that always manage to hide themselves until they are fit only for the compost heap?

    • August 16, 2017 4:57 pm

      I have a spiralizer that converts raw courgettes into fabulous fine strips equivalent of spaghetti pasta. Cook for two minutes in boiling water add a sauce. Gorgeous and no calories.

  2. August 18, 2017 2:20 pm

    Everyone should have astrantia I think (and one day I’ll manage to keep it alive). It will look good with your box balls. Thumbs up for your beetrooot. I love roasting it too. I do a big tray and then eat the left-overs in cheese sandwiches!

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